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<p>Emma Stone and Coldplay with Bill Hader of &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>
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Emma Stone and Coldplay with Bill Hader of "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Emma Stone and Coldplay

Some solid second-half sketches highlight a typically uneven show
OK, apologies up front everyone: I’m on the road for family obligations this weekend. So instead of writing up tonight’s “Saturday Night Live” in my man cave, I’m doing this from the nation’s capital. Live from Washington D.C.: it’s Ryan McGee! I have the show in my hotel room, but without the beauty of DVR, I may miss a little more than usual in tonight’s recap. I ask that you are patient with me this week as Emma Stone and Coldplay both return to Studio 8-H. Coldplay is here to promote their new record “Mylo Xyloto,” while Stone doesn’t have anything she’s here to push, other than maybe the DVD release of “Crazy, Stupid, Love”. That’s fine, since she was a game host last year. Biggest question of the night: how will “SNL” handle this week’s Oscars’ debacle? Will they go after Brett Ratner and former “SNL” alum Eddie Murphy in a meaningful way, or just relegate their pot shots to “Weekend Update” jokes?
 
Only one way to find out. Onto the recap!
 
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<p>Oprah&nbsp;Winfrey, John&nbsp;Travolta and Kelly&nbsp;Preston at the 2011 Governors Awards</p>

Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta and Kelly Preston at the 2011 Governors Awards

Credit: AMPAS

The Academy celebrates Smith, Jones and Winfrey at third annual Governors Awards

After tumultuous week, AMPAS takes a moment to toast Honorary Oscar recipients

Thanks to the miracle of Twitter and about 10 minutes of down time on vacation in Miami, I can pretty much cyber-report on tonight's Governors Awards ceremony. You ready? Alright, so…

As guests took their seats, John Williams' "Star Wars" score struck on the sound system and the room was flooded with Storm Troopers. Darth Vader took to the stage. Obviously, it was a tip of the hat to one of this year's Honorary Oscar recipients, James Earl Jones.

Anyway, Vader hit the podium, removed his masked to reveal -- wait, it wasn't David Prowse at all. It was Academy president Tom Sherak. "How was your week," he quipped to the audience. Fair play, sir (even if he did recycle the joke from earlier in the week at a screening of "The Great White Hope" in honor of Jones). Casual. Light. Way to take it in stride after a five- or six-day spread few would want to endure. (And poor Dawn Hudson -- apparently she had some sleepless nights over the whole Ratner/Murphy brouhaha.)

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<p>Henry Cavill (center) in Tarsem's &quot;Immortals.&quot;</p>

Henry Cavill (center) in Tarsem's "Immortals."

Credit: Relativity Media

Cinejabber: Whether you're high or low

Open thread. The floor is yours.

Another Saturday, another Cinejabber – your space to kick around whatever film-related thoughts you fancy, while we seek life beyond the movie theater.

Or, you know, not. My weekend is shaping up to be very cinema-bound indeed, with a rather schizophrenic to-do (or to-see) list combining art and trash, recalling nothing so much as the critical adage of playing both brows against the middle. It begins on a noble note: I’ll be wallowing this afternoon in all 190 minutes of the digitally restored Marcel Carné opus “Les Enfants du Paradis” at London’s invaluable BFI Southbank.

From there on, my plans get slightly less respectable, as I’m hoping to catch two new releases whose press screenings I napped on. One of them I feel little need to apologize for: Tarsem had me at hello with his wildly underappreciated (and frankly just wild) fantasy thriller “The Cell,” which you may or may not remember was robbed of every design award going in 2000, so there’s no way I’m not seeing him indulge his mask fixation to the nth degree and the third dimension in “Immortals.”

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<p>Snowy,&nbsp;Captain Haddock, and Tintin get caught up in dangerous business in Steven Spielberg's rollicking new 'The Adventures Of Tintin'</p>

Snowy, Captain Haddock, and Tintin get caught up in dangerous business in Steven Spielberg's rollicking new 'The Adventures Of Tintin'

Credit: Paramount/Nickelodeon/Dreamworks

Review: Spielberg's 'The Adventures Of Tintin' offers remarkable action and energy

Strong performance-capture work gives this technical marvel a human edge

"The Adventures Of Tintin" is a preposterously fun movie, first and foremost, regardless of what technology was used to make it.  It is very old-fashioned in storytelling terms, but cutting-edge in the way it's told.  It tells a rough-and-tumble adventure story that is more real-world than much of what Hollywood makes these days, but it's animated in a way that removes it from reality completely.  It is a film that seems to hinge on a number of contradictions, and that friction is just one of the reasons I really loved the experience.

Much has been written about how long Steven Spielberg's been interested in making a film version of Herge's long-running comic series, and one of the biggest questions that I've heard repeatedly is "Why would he do it as a performance capture animated film?"  I think the first answer to that question is obvious after you see the movie and you see Snowy, Tintin's canine sidekick, in action.  Snowy is a major character in the film, and has an outsized personality.  Trying to get the same performance out of a real dog in the middle of a film also involving stunts and special effects and international travel would be a nightmare, and as it is, Snowy is one of the main highlights of the movie now.  Also, there is a sense of scale and abandon to the way the action is staged in the film that would be a nightmare to orchestrate in live-action, and I think working in animation has set Spielberg free in a way I'm not sure we've ever seen from him before.

Ultimately, though, the tools used wouldn't matter if the film was no fun.

And this film is nothing but fun.

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<p>The cover of Mac Miller's &quot;Blue Slide Park&quot;</p>
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The cover of Mac Miller's "Blue Slide Park"

Mac Miller pushes Justin Bieber out of the top spot on next week's Billboard 200

Indie rapper will handily trump the other newcomers, including 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn.'

Mac Miller is getting ready to take over the world, or at least the Billboard 200, next week as the rapper’s “Blue Slide Park,” on indie Rostrum, looks like a lock for No. 1 with projected sales of 180,000 copies.

Haven’t heard of him? His video for  “Donald Trump” has already garnered more than 34 million views on YouTube and he was the subject of a Billboard cover story a few weeks back.

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<p>Kitty (Kathleen Robertson)&nbsp;on &quot;Boss.&quot;</p>

Kitty (Kathleen Robertson) on "Boss."

Credit: Lions Gate

'Boss' - 'Slip': Get on the bus

Kitty and Zajac go out on the road together, while Emma is visited by both parents

We're up to the fourth episode of "Bossnow, and I don't have a lot to say about "Slip" that hasn't come up in our discussions of the previous three episodes. Kelsey Grammer's tremendous and the reason I keep tuning in, while certain other aspects (the sex, Kane's magical hitman, the symbolism-drenched monologues) frequently border on cartoonish (if not fall over into it).

Halfway through this eight-episode first season (which has been so low-rated that everyone involved has to be glad Chris Albrecht ordered a second season before they even premiered), how's everybody feeling about the (mis)adventures of Mayor Tom Kane and friends?

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<p>Xander Berkeley of &quot;Nikita&quot;</p>
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Xander Berkeley of "Nikita"

Credit: The CW

Catching up with 'Nikita' Season 2 for 'London Calling'

How are Michael, Nikita, Alex and Percy doing this fall on The CW?
Although Friday is generally considered to be the place cult favorite TV shows go to die, the shift to Friday night may be the nicest thing The CW ever did to "Nikita."
 
"Nikita" hasn't *wildly* succeeded on Fridays, but it has delivered a reliable and steady number for The CW despite no lead-in and only a tiny available audience. No longer dealing with the pressure that comes from jettisoning a third (or more) of its "Vampire Diaries" lead-in, "Nikita" has combined with "Supernatural" to do the yeomen's work of keeping the lights on for The CW on Friday nights, generally getting a big DVR boost to boot.
 
On a purely selfish level, the shift to Fridays puts "Nikita" in a place where I can afford the DVR space to record every episode. Last season, my viewership was a catch-as-catch-can hodgepodge of screeners, repeats and fan convention sneaks that ultimately added up to my seeing maybe three-quarters of the episodes. This season? I've watched every episode, though it sometimes takes a week or two (or more) to get to them.
 
Normally on Friday nights, I'm finishing up my "Survivor" exit interviews and "Nikita" gets pushed way to the backburner, but due to Wednesday's lack of "Survivor" elimination, I thought this would be a good week to check in on "Nikita" in blog form, if only so that the Mikita cultists can get outraged at me for daring to suggest that Shane West's Michael is a growling bore.
 
[Ducking...]
 
I'm kidding.
 
[Ducking again...]
 
"Survivor" picked a good week not to give me a castoff to interview, since "London Calling" was a fairly meaty episode of "Nikita," culminating in the sort of emotional cliffhanger that's sure to be causing palpitations aplenty within the Mikita community.
 
[STOP THROWING THINGS AT ME... Shane West's perpetually furrowed brow is awesome! I swear!]
 
A few thoughts on Friday's episode, but mostly thoughts on the shape of the season as a whole, after the break... [Yes, that means spoilers if you haven't seen Friday's episode...]
 
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<p>&nbsp;Romy Rosemont and Stephen Root of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>
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 Romy Rosemont and Stephen Root of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'And Those We've Left Behind'

Two stunning guest performances serve as a Rosetta stone for the season's problems
I’ve said this before, but I think it’s worth repeating in light of tonight’s episode of “Fringe.” In writing about the works either inspired by or directly overseen by J.J. Abrams, certain “patterns,” if you will, have emerged. These patterns extend to both the abstract and the concrete. The former is marked by having mysteries, time travel, and near operatic family issues. The latter is marked by a recurrence of certain objects (red balls, Slusho) and numbers. I think the red balls and fictional drinks are amusing Easter Eggs, but I think the numbers speak to something else at the heart of what I call “Earth-J.J.”: there are things in this world that are unimportant until certain people pour importance into them. Both “Alias” and “Lost” used certain numbers as a way to signify connections between events, but ultimately revealed the connection inherent in those numbers to be people. In humanizing the abstract, Earth-J.J. shows just how interconnected we all are.
 
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<p>Coldplay, one of the acts impacted by the EMI sale</p>
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Coldplay, one of the acts impacted by the EMI sale

Credit: Joel Ryan/AP

What EMI's sale means to artists, songwriters and you

The home of Katy Perry, Coldplay and Lady Antebellum comes off the block

Remember when there were six major record companies? I do. And it wasn’t that long ago. As of today (pending approvals), we’re down to three.

Embattled EMI Group, which has been waiting for a suitor, any suitor, to pluck it out of Citigroup’s hands following the Terra Firma fiasco, is being divvied up into two pieces:  Vivendi’s Universal Music Group will buy the recording division for $1.9 billion, while Sony/ATV has purchasing the publishing assets for $2.2 billion.

Warner Music Group, which, itself, was sold earlier this year to Access Industries, and which had danced around EMI for years, took itself out of the running for EMI’s recorded music arm the last week. EMI CEO Roger Faxon tried very hard to have the whole company sold as one piece and to remain a stand-alone business, as its recent sales have allowed. Not this time.

So what happens next? First off, these things never run smoothly so expect some hitches. While at Billboard, I witnessed both Universal’s then-parent Seagram’s purchase of Polygram in 1998 (for $10.4 billion, by the way) and the Sony/BMG merger, which started in 2004, and culminated in Sony buying out BMG in 2008. They are bloody messes even in the best of times. 

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<p>Morgan (Joshua Gomez) gets his tips frosted on &quot;Chuck.&quot;</p>

Morgan (Joshua Gomez) gets his tips frosted on "Chuck."

Credit: NBC

'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Frosted Tips': The pantsing party

Morgan's dark turn gets more interesting, and Casey and Verbanski fight and flirt

A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I replace my backup juicer...

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<p>Johnny Depp at the Paris premiere of &quot;The&nbsp;Rum&nbsp;Diary&quot;</p>

Johnny Depp at the Paris premiere of "The Rum Diary"

Credit: AP Photo/Thibault Camus

Johnny Depp causes a stir in the Wichita film community

A casual comment on the 'Rum Diary' press tour raises larger questions

The people of Wichita, Kansas have taken issue with Johnny Depp. Or, more accurately, certain members of the film community in the city have responded to a comment the actor made that seemed to disparage the intelligence level of the citizens of Wichita at large.

In a recent interview with The Guardian to promote the UK release of “The Rum Diary,” the actor appeared to theorize that the reason the adaptation of the Hunter S. Thompson novel is not performing well in the states is that the American appetite for thought-provoking films is limited. "I believe that this film, regardless of what it makes in, you know, Wichita, Kansas, this week – which is probably about $13 – it doesn't make any difference,” he said. “I think it's an intelligent film…And a lot of times, outside the big cities in the States, they don't want that."

The implication is, of course, threefold. One, that there is some categorical and static standard that defines an “intelligent film”; two, that Depp’s “The Rum Diary” meets said standard; and three, that the citizens of the United States (outside of the larger urban areas) are simply not interested in cerebral nutritious cinematic fare.

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<p>Ozzy Osbourne in August 2011</p>

Ozzy Osbourne in August 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Black Sabbath reuniting for world tour, new album and why that's too bad

Original quartet lineup -- including Ozzy and Iommi -- trying the reunion again

Metal pioneers Black Sabbath are reuniting with the original lineup and hitting the road, more than 40 years after the band's inception.

Guitarist Tony Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne, bass player Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward are plotting a world tour as well as a new album, as they announced at a press conference today. The band will headline England's Download Festival in June 2012 and then head out.

Rick Rubin has been tapped to produce a new effort, the same role he had when the band made their first go at reuniting back at the end of the '90s and into the new millennium. If the album's completed, it will be Rubin's first for the band.

Black Sabbath hasn't released an album of all-new material with that lineup since 1978's "Never Say Die!"; Osbourne was fired that following year, and replaced by Ronnie James Dio. Thus, the inaugural quartet left eight studio albums in their wake.

Sabbath made their last concerted, formal reunion starting in 1997/1998, an earnest but ultimately doomed attempt at becoming a full band again. Bill Ward had a heart attack while they were on tour. Iommi pursued putting out his first solo album while Ozzy worked on a couple of his own, setting the band back on what was thought to be a temporary hiatus. The MTV's "The Osbournes" was permanently conscripted into Ozzy's life and that was that, in 2002. To show for it: 1998's decent and mostly live album "Reunion," which included two new studio tracks, with one that thankfully showed some spark ("Psycho Man").

Black Sabbath, without contest, is among one of the most influential rock bands of all time, trailblazers for metal, helping in defining an era of post-Beatles British music and yielding a template of heavy music frontmen. I am a great admirer of the band; and I won't be the first or last fan to say, that this reunion just seems sad.

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